India: From tears to heart attacks, Bihar elections throw up interesting scenes

Patna: The start of the election process in Bihar has thrown up some interesting and colourful scenes. The three-phase state elections in the state start from October 28 and the counting of votes will be done on November 10.

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The first such story was reported from Kaimur district where the district chief of the ruling Janata Dal United (JD-U) headed by chief minister Nitish Kumar cried bitterly at a media briefing after all the seats in the district was offered to its ally, Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), under the seat-sharing arrangement.

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“I strongly condemn such kind of seat share deal. I will campaign for ensuring defeat of the BJP candidates while staying with the party,” JD-U district president Pramod Kumar Singh told a media conference on Tuesday evening, wiping tears from his eyes. “We all feel offended. The workers have been working for the party for years,” Singh added.

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Heart attack

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Even stranger story came from neighbouring Bhojpur district where the sitting opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) lawmaker Anwar Alam suffered a massive heart attack after his seat went to the party ally under the seat sharing arrangement.

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Anwar was elected on RJD ticket from Ara seat in the last 2015 state polls but this year his seat went to a Left party under the seat sharing deal. The news shocked him so much so that he collapsed right when holding a meeting of the party workers on Tuesday evening.

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He was immediately rushed to a local hospital but as his condition deteriorated further, he has been shifted to a primer hospital in Patna where his condition remains stable, family members told the media on Wednesday.

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In another interesting incident, a social worker Ravindra Kumar reached the local block office riding a tastefully-decorated buffalo to file his nomination paper as an independent candidate. The man filed his nomination from the Paliganj assembly seat in Patna district. A large crowd of local villagers rushed out to see the candidate riding a buffalo and greeting the voters with folded hands.

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Animal lover

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“I am an animal lover. If (jailed Indian politician) Lalu Prasad can become the chief minister by riding the buffalo, he too can at least become a lawmaker,” Kumar told the media persons.

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A jailed lawmaker Anant Singh infamous for sporting long vermilion mark on his head and bushy moustache, on the other hand, filed nomination for Mokama seat in Patna district after getting permission from the jail authorities. Singh who is an accused in more than two dozen criminal cases related to murder, extortion and kidnapping initially won elections on JD-U ticket but this time, he has been fielded by the opposition RJD.

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But another candidate Kumud Patel was not lucky as he was arrested by the police right when he had reached the election office to file nominations. Patel who wanted to file nominations from Ara seat as an independent candidate was arrested in connection with an old case.

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